Testimonials

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“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Kathy provides individualized coaching for ten members of my advancement team. The fundraising officers needed an experienced person they could turn to about how to manage a portfolio, and some needed guidance on how to manage up and into leadership positions. Kathy personalizes every interaction, and offers very detailed suggestions to each team member. It’s very frequent that when I see someone exhibiting new and positive behavior, they attribute the change to Kathy’s coaching. Additionally, my development officers feel very supported and valued that they are given the opportunity to work with a coach.

    Lissy GarrisonAssistant Vice Chancellor, Development, University of Denver
  • I hired Kathy to conduct two daylong training sessions, including a half-day for the president, campus leadership and deans. We want to have the best fundraisers, and training to increase skills and competencies of our team is the best way to assure for this. As a result of working with Kathy, our fundraisers have improved at everything from cold calls and initial outreach to presentations and solicitation strategy. The team especially appreciated Kathy’s guidance on portfolio prioritization because it helped us see that we can do a lot just by prioritizing and focusing on what really matters. … I’ve attended trainings where I felt like they use Any University, USA and simply cut and paste our name into it. With Kathy, she really got feedback from us and where we are in our development to customize the training specifically to our university.

    Adrienne VargasInterim Vice President for University Relations and Development, San Diego State University
  • “Kathy and I began working together when I was offered an Interim Director of Development position and she’s helped me develop confidence in my leadership and management style. While I’ll continue to develop my skills, since engaging in monthly strategy meetings with Kathy, I have found a balance in my management approach that’s proving effective and is helping me cultivate productive and meaningful relationships with the members of my team. I value Kathy’s honesty and I trust she’ll provide thoughtful feedback rooted in her many years of successful development experience.”

    Mary JarchowDirector of Development, Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, Colorado State University
  • I’ve worked with a lot of consultants in the business world. To have someone [like Kathy] who has walked in my shoes and is a wealth of knowledge and experience, and understands the culture of our company, and then is able to help me where I am is invaluable. I look forward to our calls and meetings because I always walk away with these gems that I can put into practice immediately. The value in working with Kathy is I’m not taught a bunch of conceptual theories; I’m equipped with real tangible nuggets I can put into practice and see that they work. I enjoy my job and feel like I can do it well, and that’s because of Kathy.

    Teri LaneSenior Director of National Philanthropy, City of Hope
  • Kathy has been working with me on an organizational assessment, helping me determine if I have the right people in the right positions and to identify the gaps. The assessment gave me a great springboard to speak to our CEO to gain approval to hire the staff needed to make our philanthropy efforts successful. In just two months, Kathy helped me come up with the position descriptions and assisted in crafting the conversations I had with staff to make this a successful reorganization. Kathy has been a game changer. I have had many ideas, and Kathy helped me put them into words and action, and helped me execute those ideas and strategies. She’s someone you want to have in your corner.

    Jennifer CrosbyVice President, Philanthropy and Community Engagement, The Scripps Research Institute
  • I’ve been working with Kathy for several months since I moved from an alumni role into a frontline fundraiser role. Our monthly coaching calls focus on best practices and donor strategy. The breadth and depth of Kathy’s fundraising experience makes her an exceptional coach. I have been able to rely on her expertise to help move my donor strategies forward with positive results.

    Mona SpitzDirector of Development, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver
  • After about six months in my new position at NPR, I can honestly say the time I spent with you in our coaching sessions has proven invaluable. Thank you, Kathy, for always taking the time to work through things I brought to the table. My experience with you and all of the guidance you gave me during our meetings has not only made me a better person, but a better employee and manager at NPR. Taking the time to listen, really listen, not being afraid to strategically push back, to be honest and transparent with those who report to me, are just some of the valuable tools you taught me that I use on a weekly (if not daily) basis.

    Ryan Frank, MLISDirector, Prospect Management & Research, NPR
  • We hired Kathy as a consultant for several  months during the time we were conducting a search for a new Associate Vice Chancellor. Kathy stepped in seamlessly to support our fundraising team and reinforce messaging from Advancement leadership. We found Kathy to be a tremendous resource. She has a rare combination of skills and experience that allow her to see things from a broad scope, while also providing specific strategic and tactical tools and guidance. Whether discussing common issues in a large group format or meeting one-on-one to discuss individual donor strategies, Kathy's advice and guidance was enormously valuable. She is an inspiring speaker, a motivating and encouraging coach, and an active, focused listener with an insightful feedback loop. In addition, she has the ability to work well with a variety of people. It was extremely helpful – and fun – to work with Kathy!

    Kellie FischerFormer Assistant Vice Chancellor, University of Denver
  • We partnered with Kathy to launch a coaching pilot at Colorado State University, and the results were incredibly positive. Kathy coached a number of our senior leaders to help them identify and achieve their developmental goals. In addition, she communicated with their supervisors, co-designed joint outcomes/goals that served the division, and kept everyone updated about their progress. We were so pleased with the results that we plan to continue working with Kathy and formalize our coaching program. As the lead for our talent management initiatives, I have struggled to find developmental opportunities for our high-achieving staff, especially those who are near the top of the organizational chart. Kathy’s expertise and breadth of experience in Advancement make her a perfect fit. She’s also very adept at working with supervisors with differing styles. For example, one of our supervisors was more hands off, while the other wanted more involvement. Kathy was able to adjust as needed to meet everyone’s expectations. The feedback from staff who were coached by Kathy was 100% positive. They felt challenged and supported, appreciated her advice, and found her to be relatable. She helped them take a global view on their challenges, and she provided a confidential and safe sounding board. Coaching is the new frontier in talent management, especially in higher education, and I cannot think of another person better suited to lead the way than Kathy Drucquer Duff.

    Alexis Kanda-OlmsteadFormer Managing Director of Talent Management, Training & Support, University Advancement, Colorado State University
  • "We have been talking about developing an event strategy for years - yet never knew exactly where to start. [Kathy's Academic Impressions webinar] not only provided us with great information but also with resources to help us get started."  

    Leigh SjogrenDirector of Advancement Events, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Kathy Drucquer Duff has been an exceptional colleague, has extensive experience and skill in fundraising strategy and donor solicitation, and is very adept as a search consultant, identifying talent and mentoring staff. She works with a high level of confidentiality and is very analytical and discrete in her approach. Her administration of a search at the vice presidential level yielded top notch candidates, all highly experienced.  This was the most professionally administered search I have experienced in my several decades as a senior administrator in higher ed. It has been a pleasure working with her and I offer her the highest recommendation.

    Renee JadushleverChief of Staff and Vice President for Communications and External Relations, Mills College
  • I had the pleasure of working with Kathy when she served as a consultant to the Office of Institutional Advancement at Mills College. Kathy was a powerhouse member of our team who used her in-depth knowledge and expertise to serve as a leader, coach, and mentor who inspired us in so many ways. She quickly was able to identify individual talent and understood how to empower the team, motivating us with supportive enthusiasm. She demonstrated the unique skill of balancing competing priorities and managing expectations. Kathy definitely made a positive impact on our team. Colleagues described her as strong, determined, having boundless energy, thoughtful, kindhearted, hardworking, nurturing, tenacious, protective, compassionate, genuine, optimistic, amazing, dedicated, and supportive. Full of energy, she always did what she said she would do regardless of the time of day or night. With her can do attitude, professional fundraising experience, leadership skills, and strategic approach to challenging circumstances, Kathy Drucquer Duff would be a true asset to any organization.

    Jennifer Gibbs Former Senior Advancement Director, Mills College
  • As the new Chief Philanthropy Officer for City of Hope, I needed to bring in a professional who I had complete confidence in and someone I knew could hit the ground running while being sensitive to both my newness to the organization and an unfamiliarity to the culture. Kathy offers any organization, especially to the senior management executives, the ultimate package in terms of professionalism, enthusiasm, current knowledge of the industry, and commitment to one’s program. She is a seasoned leader who knows when to push people out of their comfort zone and when to allow assimilation. In the end, she is a genuine partner to your program whose hard work results in raising the level of individual and team performance and productivity. She has my highest level of appreciation and endorsement.

    Kristin J. BertellChief Philanthropy Officer, City of Hope
  • In my 20+ years of experience as a fundraising professional, Kathy stands alone in her ability to maximize the effectiveness of her team and to unite others around a common objective. I have worked for and with Kathy for more than a decade. In that time, I have directly witnessed her skill as a manager, mentor, strategist, coach and leader. She is a master communicator who can distill complex concepts into easily understood objectives. Whether in an individual meeting or presenting to large groups, Kathy has a unique ability to connect with her audience, identify their needs, and provide valuable insights on how to improve their individual and team performance. Kathy has taught me the importance of establishing a culture that embraces accountability, creativity and a shared vision. Her credibility in crafting this culture is born from her tireless work ethic, passion for fundraising and commitment to help every employee/client achieve their goals. Whether it is help with developing a fundraising strategy, charting a course for a comprehensive campaign or coaching individuals to be their best, Kathy has a rich history of success that few can equal.

    Brian DaughertySenior Vice President & Chief Development Officer, San Diego Humane Society
  • I continue to hire Kathy to teach webinars and conferences on strategic fundraising talent management and fundraising skills because of the experience and credibility she brings to the conversation. She has extensive experience across the higher education and healthcare sectors that inform her thinking, and she relays that experience into digestible information she shares with our audience. She is intentional about putting time and effort into growing her own team, and breaks advancement management down in a way that doesn’t seem intimidating to other managers. She helps our audience understand that intentionally managing your team is equally important to the fundraising component of their job. Kathy is also one of our highest rated speakers; conference attendees rave about her.

    Erin SwietlikFormer Senior Conference Director, Academic Impressions
  • I hired Kathy to present seminars and webcasts when I was with Academic Impressions. She was internally driven to develop consistently strong products that provided information and knowledge not available to the existing fundraising marketplace. Kathy made it a point to give her best and, more importantly, truly valued feedback from her colleagues/participants to improve her future work; I can say with confidence she always seeks to improve her results. That said, what really shines through is the breadth of Kathy’s experience – it’s rare to find someone as adept across both channels (annual giving to major giving to executive management) and market segments (education to health care) – and it’s that breadth that allows her to advise so well.

    Jason James Shuba, Esq.Gift Planning Officer, American National Red Cross
  • Kathy has terrific skills as a consultant in a field where there are few effective development consultants. Not only is she skilled in philanthropy and fundraising, but also in managing people and structuring teams. She is an extremely good judge of professional situations and is able to determine individuals’ strengths and weaknesses, which allows her to build very effective teams. Any organization would be lucky to have Kathy as a consultant.

    Nigella HillgarthFormer President and CEO, The New England Aquarium
  • Kathy has been mentoring me on high-level strategy for our senior level donors and helping me with prioritizing department needs. Her guidance is invaluable. Not only is she enthusiastic and encouraging, but she is very focused, knowledgeable and really helps me work through issues and leads me to a solution through dialogue. Her suggestions and the tools she has provided me with have absolutely changed the way I approach my job in a positive way. I’m so grateful for her time and guidance, and my institution’s investment in hiring her as a consultant during our time of transition.

    Amy WhiteheadFormer Interim Director, Leadership Giving, New England Aquarium
  • Kathy is extremely thorough and very keen on being able to assess a situation and quickly summarize what she sees as areas for improvement, and then comes up with solutions that match the needs. She does this by drawing from her own extensive experience, and can quickly put herself in our shoes and look at things through our eyes. She is also quick at assessing individual employee strengths and weaknesses, and people are willing to be honest with her about their skills and abilities, roles and their future. Easy person for staff to talk to, and they warm up to her quickly and effortlessly. Kathy is very responsive, and she’s so pleasant to work with.

    Ann PerryVice President for Human Resources, New England Aquarium
  • Kathy has so much passion, energy, knowledge, and has the ability to quickly assess what needs to happen and then design accountability metrics that make sense. Most recently, I hired her to mentor a junior development officer for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and help that individual develop a fundraising strategy. Under Kathy’s mentoring, our development officer brought our School’s annual giving rate up to 12 percent, which is amazing considering the University’s annual giving rate of 4 percent. Kathy helped make that possible.

    Carl WinstonDirector of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, San Diego State University
  • Kathy hired me as a development student assistant at San Diego State University and I’ve since worked with her at Sharp Healthcare and UC San Diego. She invested in my talent at every level of my career and helped me grow into the professional I am today. She has made this same investment in countless others. In every place Kathy has worked, she’s been able to turn teams around to the positive. She knows how to build a strong culture that works for individual needs and the larger organization, and she demonstrates time and time again what it means to empower people to be high performing. I have always trusted her to support me – to navigate challenges and celebrate successes! Trust in your leadership is paramount and something that makes Kathy stand out among other leaders.

    Heather NelsonFund Development Consultant
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